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Why is Google Stadia access blocked on Microsoft Edge?

According to some users, Google’s cloud-based gaming service, Stadia, is no longer accessible through Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser.

The issue was first flagged up by The Verge’s Tom Warren, who went to the natural place to vent his frustration: Twitter. At the time of publication, anyone trying to access the service via Microsoft Edge will see the message ‘Use Google Chrome to play Stadia on computers and tablets’.

Related: Google Stadia vs Project xCloud

Warren shared his current workaround for the issue, which is changing the user agent string to Chrome for Windows. This seems to fix the problem and lets users play on their preferred browser to their heart’s content.

However, it raises the question of why the search giant wouldn’t want Google Stadia users to access the service through Microsoft Edge. Especially as the browser uses the same framework as Google Chrome.

Some critics have suggested that it’s a sneaky move from Google against a big competitor, but is dunking on Edge really more important to Google than building up the already much-criticised Stadia? Other, less cynical types think it’s a bug that will be amended in time.

It’s not the first time that there have been usability issues between Microsoft Edge and Google. In May, when Microsoft Edge was still in its baby stages, users who had downloaded the preview version of the browser found that they couldn’t access YouTube.

Instead of being able to watch their favourite cat videos on a loop, users found themselves presented with a cheeky message advising them to download Google Chrome in order to enjoy the video.

However, this was swiftly fixed by Google, and a YouTube spokesperson said at the time that they were ‘committed to supporting YouTube on Edge and apologize for any inconvenience’.

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A lot of Stadia’s help pages list Chrome as a requirement for playing, so it could be that in this instance they don’t intend to support other browsers for Stadia. We’ve reached out to Google for comment.

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